Things to Do in Tokyo When it Rains – Top 6 Rainy Day Activities

Don't let rain ruin your plans! In our guide to the best things to do in Tokyo when it rains, find everything you need to know to occupy you when the weather turns miserable.

Even in the summer, unexpected rain can put a damper on your Tokyo plans. Summer rain is pretty common and can be severe, but, luckily for you, Tokyo has you covered for such a turn of events. The Japanese capital is overflowing with things to do when in rains – from a spot of shopping to a hit of culture – whatever takes your fancy. 

Read on for your full guide to things to do in Tokyo when it rains: 

1. Explore the Malls

Japanese Shopping Mall

Photo Credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg via Flickr cc

Tokyo has shopping options aplenty, from international brands to local handicrafts. Whatever you’re after, head to one of the city’s shopping malls for everything under one roof. Malls in central Tokyo proliferate, but wherever you are, you won’t be far from some indoor shopping. The perfect distraction from miserable weather. 

For a full guide to your shopping options in Tokyo, check out our dedicated article: Shopping in Tokyo – Top 10 Shopping Districts in Tokyo

2. Onsens and Hot Springs

Onsen

Photo Credit: Kazuhisa OTSUBO via Flickr cc

Going to an onsen is a good idea whatever the weather, but when the heavens open, this is especially so. Watch as the droplets evaporate in the heat at an outdoor onsen or shelter completely by sticking to the indoors. If you can’t beat the water – join it. 

Prices tend to start at about 1,000 thousand yen but vary. Check out our detailed article for more info: Tokyo Onsen – Relax Your Mind, Body and Soul

3. Museums and Art Galleries

Tokyo National Museum

Photo Credit: Yuya Tamai via Flickr cc

Museums and galleries are a classic rainy day activity: indoor, interesting and requiring minimum organization. Tokyo, you’ll be glad to know, is not lacking in options. From broad, time-spanning mega-museums to esoteric, slightly eccentric establishments – take your pick. 

Here are some of our top recommendations:

The Edo-Tokyo Museum

Edo Tokyo Museum

Photo Credit: Mike Murry via Flickr cc

Established in 1993, this museum focuses on Tokyo’s history, especially from the Edo era (1603-1868). Within architect Kiyonori Kikutake’s mega-structure, find a replica of the famous Nihonbashi Bridge, the Nakamuraza Theater and painstakingly realized scale models of Edo street scenes and buildings. 

Price: adults is 600 yen

Opening hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, closed on Mondays

Address: 1 Chome-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0015

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum 2

Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo via Flickr cc

Created in 1872, the National Museum of Tokyo is the biggest and oldest museum of Japan. Inside, discover a huge range of historical artifacts and artwork from Japan and other Eastern countries. The museum possesses 113,897 objects, with 87 of them ranked as Japanese national treasures and 631 ranked as important cultural property. 

Price: adults 620 yen

Opening hours: 9:00am – 5:00 pm daily; closed on Mondays

Address: 13-9 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum

Photo Credit: Yuya Tamai via Flickr cc

The Mori Art Museum is a contemporary art museum founded by Minoru Mori inside the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. With no permanent collection, this gallery has an ever-changing and ever-exciting lineup of temporary exhibitions from well-known and newcomer artists from across the globe. 

Price: 1800 yen

Opening hours: 10:00am-8:00pm every day except Tuesdays; Tuesdays 10:00-5:00pm

Address:

4. Cinemas 

Tokyo in the Rain

Photo Credit: Héctor García via Flickr cc

Tokyo has a world-class cinema scene, encompassing multiplex cinemas and arthouse joints alike. See a Hollywood blockbuster or something a little more local at one of central Tokyo’s 30 cinemas and beat the rain. 

Waseda Syochiku  

Waseda Syochiku

Photo Credit: midorisyu via flickr cc

This place offers Japanese and international movies at discount prices. As a result, Waseda Syochiku cinema  is lively and often frequented by a young audience from the nearby Waseda University.

Price: 1,100 yen for students, 1,300 for adults

Opening hours: times vary according to the showings

Address: 1 Chome-5-16 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 169-0075

Website: Waseda Syochiku

Toho Cinemas Shinjuku

Toho Cinemas Shinjuku

Photo Credit: Tydence Davis via flickr cc

This cinema is famous for its giant Godzilla replica that looms over the surrounding Shinjuku streets. It’s also one of the largest cinemas in Tokyo which even offers restaurants and shops on the first and second floors. Toho Cinema is a good choice for international movies and catching a 3D or 4D showing.   

Price: 1,100 to 1,800 yen

Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00 a  

Address: Shinjuku TOHO Bldg. 3F, 1-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Website: Toho cinemas Shinjuku

Tokyo Film Centre

Tokyo Film Centre

Photo Credit: tim t. via flickr cc

This cinemas focus is old, classic Japanese cinema. Also catch special retrospective events from Japanese directors, silent film showings and the opportunity to find out more about the history of Japanese cinema.  

Price: 500 yen

Opening hours: times vary

Address: 3 Chome-7-6 Kyōbashi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0031

Website: Tokyo Film Centre

5. Karaoke

Karaoke

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An unavoidable entry, Karaoke is a tried and tested classic Japanese activity, perfect for a rainy day. There are Karaoke bars almost everywhere around Tokyo so you won’t struggle to find one. We’ve got all the information you need, right here:  

Karaoke in Japan – Survival Guide

6. View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut via flickr cc

When the sky turns moody over Tokyo, why not take the opportunity to gaze out over all of it? At 202-meters, the observation deck on the 45th floor of Shinjuku’s Metropolitan Government Building is hard to beat (especially given the price: free!). There is also a bar and café to relax in as you mull the immensity of Tokyo in the rain.

Price: free 

Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023

Opening times:  9:30 am – 5:00 pm (South Observation Deck); 9:30 am – 10:30 pm (North Observation Deck)

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